Early Learning and Development Standards Review 2021

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Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) describe key concepts and skills that young children develop during the birth-to-five-year period. The standards promote the understanding of early learning and development, provide a comprehensive and coherent set of early childhood education expectations for children’s development and learning, and guide the design and implementation of curriculum, assessment and instruction practices with young children.

The Ohio Early Learning and Development Standards were adopted by the State Board of Education in October 2012 and include all domains of school readiness. The development of standards represents a collaboration between the state agencies serving young children including the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Ohio early care and education professionals have gained valuable experience with the standards since their introduction in 2012. Now that the standards are over eight years old, the Department has launched a review and revision process to ensure that the Early Learning and Development Standards:

  • Continue to provide critical knowledge in the field based on research;  
  • Include clear outcomes to specific ages or developmental periods; and
  • Connect the learning that occurs in the formative preschool years to kindergarten and early childhood. 

This page provides information about the review and revision process for Ohio's ELDS.




March 2021 

Call for nominations for Writing Working Group membership

Initial Public Comment Survey

April  2021

Close nominations for work groups and initial public comment survey

May  2021

Writing Work Groups kick-off 

May - July 2021

Writing Work Groups complete their review and revisions based on survey results, feedback from national experts, and direction from the advisory group.  

Fall 2021

Release revised standards for second public comment.  


Finalize new standards.  



Ohio has developed high-quality learning standards aligned across grades that define what learners should know and be able to do. These include:

  • Early Learning and Development Standards (birth to kindergarten entry);
  • Ohio’s Learning Standards (kindergarten-grade 12, including standards for literacy in history and social studies, science and technical subjects for grades 6-12);
  • Ohio English Language Proficiency Standards (K-12);
  • Ohio’s Learning Standards Extended for learners with significant cognitive disabilities; and
  • Ohio’s K-12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards.
In 2017, 12 percent of Ohio’s youngest learners (ages 0 – 8) were dual language learners (DLLs). More than 22,000 preschool children are children with disabilities and are provided preschool special education services in 2018. In 2020, 73,030 children ages birth to five were enrolled in Ohio Department of Education licensed preschool programs (need number for ODJFS).
It is expected that each child has access to relevant and challenging academic experiences and educational resources necessary for success across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background and/or income. Standards provide a clear definition of what students should know and be able to do. In early childhood, standards describe key concepts and skills that young children develop and are intended to promote an understanding on the continuum of learning and development.
Literacy skills lay the foundation upon which every individual’s education rests. The ELDS should be flexible enough to encourage teachers and other professional to embed culturally and individually relevant experiences in the curriculum. The new standards must encompass the widest possible range of children’s life situations and experiences, including disabilities and language acquisition.

Throughout the process to review and revise the current set of ELDS, it is recommended that the following occur simultaneously and systematically with the intention of sustainability:
  • Create an easily accessible clearinghouse for early childhood research, resources, evidence-based strategies and data.
  • Catalogue and disseminate resources aligned to Ohio’s Birth through Kindergarten Early Learning and Development Standards, Ohio’s Social Emotional Learning Standards, Ohio’s Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement.
  • Provide resources to support program and school-based teams (birth to third-grade teachers, support specialists and administrators) by providing universal and targeted instruction and resources for educators and families based on effective early learning, language and literacy development practices.
  • Expand current early learning and development standards to address the unique features of dual language development in early childhood and include instructional supports that explicit promote English acquisition while supporting continued home language development.

The following set of standards will be archived: Ohio's Learning Standards Kindergarten through Grade 3.  These standards previously addressed Approaches Toward Learning, Physical Well-Being, and Social and Emotional Development.  The Ohio Department of Education now has Social-Emotional Learning Standards for grades kindergarten through 12 (K-12) adopted in June 2019.  

Last Modified: 10/12/2021 1:45:37 PM